Military rule is the root cause of Pakistans problems: MilibandOctober 4th, 2008 - 2:09 pm ICT by ANI
London, Oct.4 (ANI): British Foreign Secretary David Miliband believes that military rule in Pakistan has been the root cause of that countrys myriad problems.
My own view is that 30 out of 60 years of military rule is an important part of explaining the Pakistani problem, the Dawn quoted Miliband as saying in an interview organised by the Council on Foreign Affairs during his recent visit to New York.
And the fact that the Pakistani army is the most efficient, revered, effective institution in Pakistani society says a lot about the strength of that institution but also about the problems of the country, he told Fareed Zakaria, Editor, Newsweek International, who conducted the interview.
When asked if he felt that President Zardari had the army on board, Miliband said Zardari was a democratically elected president and that it was very important that he had the whole of the army.
Continuing he said President Zardari was facing a massive challenge, and I think that the army does not want to be returning to lead the government. Im confident that the leadership of the Pakistani army would prefer to run the armed services rather than the whole country.
As far as the situation in Afghanistan was concerned, he said coalition troops at the moment were about 40,000 and that Britain had 8,000 troops in Helmand but the key variable, according to him, was not the number of foreign troops, but the number of Afghan troops.
The Afghan National Army now has 58,000 members. Its pretty clean. Its pretty effective. If I talk to our troops in Afghanistan they say if they go out with the Afghan National Army, they feel like theyre with serious and relatively safe people, people theyd want to be working with. So when it comes to the military side, the key variable is building up the Afghan National Army. Theyve already had a target of getting to 122,000.
We are supporting the Afghan National Army and creating space for civic institutions to grow. But I think its important that we recognize that there certainly isnt a military, quote, unquote, solution that comes from the imposition of foreign troops, Miliband said.
He also spoke about the need to forge and define a global foreign policy in order to meet global challenges, such as international conflict and climate change. He spoke about the importance of democracy building in Pakistan and Afghanistan, global inequality and the need for international organisations to act together to tackle shared risks. (ANI)
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